Tracy Brogan: Fun & Flirty Fiction That Warms the Heart

What would it be like to sell over a million and a half copies of your first book?  Well, Tracy Brogan knows!  But, before you think hers is an instant success story, you’ll need to know how long it took to get that first book published! That, along with all kinds of other interesting tidbits are what I wanted to find out when I sat down to chat with Tracy. What I discovered was a woman who is just as crazy-fun and quirky as the beloved characters she creates. Quick to laugh, with a “girl-next-door” quality that will warm anyone’s heart, Tracy is surprisingly open and honest about both her struggles and successes in this weird world of publishing. Read on and I promise, you will soon love her just as much as we do!

InD: Let’s start from the beginning, where did you grow up and what was your childhood like?
I grew up in Grand Rapids, Michigan, which is where I still live. I was born on Christmas Day, my claim to fame.
InD: Was that a blessing or a curse?
People always say, “Oh, that is such a bummer!” but I respond, “Well, I’m the one who chose it.” [both laughing] To me, my birthday was a little bit better than everybody else’s and my Christmas was a bit better than everybody else’s, so I was fine with it.
InD: Did your parents celebrate double?
We would do Christmas on Christmas Eve and my birthday on Christmas Day, partly because my parents did not want us waking them up at the crack of dawn on Christmas morning. We would go to Mass, then open gifts on Christmas Eve. I certainly never felt like I was denied anything. I am the youngest in the family, so of course, I was spoiled.
InD: Did you get to have birthday parties though? I can't imagine a lot of kids coming to a birthday party on Christmas Day.
I don't remember specifically having a birthday party, but I would get to be with all my cousins on my actual birthday. The only birthday that was tough was my 21st birthday because I had to wait like a week before I could go out and buy a drink.
InD: Your family would not let you go to the bar on Christmas! [both laughing] Sounds like you have a wonderful family.
Yeah, I really did. I have two sisters and a brother and lots of cousins and we all grew up together.
InD: Have you all stayed in Michigan?
I got all of the way from Grand Rapids to Detroit for about three years, right after I got married, then we came back home to Grand Rapids. I do have some family in other places now, but mostly we are all still within about a forty-minute drive of each other. It is a mixed blessing, but for the most part, it is really wonderful.
InD: What did you like to do as a child?
I had so many cousins, there was always something to do. We hung outside and rode our bikes, went sledding, played kick-the-can, and played in the tree fort. It seems like we were outside all the time which is now really hilarious because I am not remotely outdoorsy anymore. We also had a sledding hill we called “the steep.” (I went back and looked at it years later and it really isn’t that steep.). Overall, it was pretty idyllic. I was really very lucky.
If I wasn’t with my cousins, I was inside with a book. Everyone in my family loves to read, so I grew up in a house where we constantly read books. I think that is probably one of the things I love most about how I grew up.
InD: What type of books did you read as a child?
I loved Laura Ingalls Wilder’s “Little House” books and the “Chronicles of Narnia.” I think those were my two go-to’s. Then, when I was sixteen, my mom, my sisters and I drove to Florida to go to Disney World and we stopped at a truck stop where I bought my first romance novel. [grabbing an old tattered book off her shelf]
InD: "Island Flame,” wow, you still have it!
Yeah, but it is duct taped together! It is about a pirate and a virgin and I remember just giggling and reading parts out loud to my sisters. I absolutely love this book! It was written by Karen Robards.
In 2012, I had just been nominated for a RITA award for "Crazy Little Thing," and I found out that Karen Robards was going to be at the conference and awards. She is the reason why I write romance and love historical romance, so I took this ratty, old book and I had her autograph it.

Read the entire interview in the July/August 2020 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

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